CSKA leads the final series

Marcus Braun (photo T.Makeeva)
Moscow army team won the first game of the final series of play-off of Russian Championship against UNICS Kazan. Losing 11 points CSKA could recover and made brilliant spurt and won:

CSKA vs UNICS: 88-80

Dusan Ivkovic did not make surprise for Stanislav Eremin in the starting five. Dragan Tarlac took the place of the center. Kazan started the game with Khryapa, Miloserdov, Stombergas, Zukauskas and Greer. The first quarter started with the fast attack of Zukauskas: 0-2. Brown and Khryapa answered with two attacks: 5-2. But after that hosts lose initiative. Till 4 minutes to the end Nikolay Khryapa was alone on the perimeter and scored 3-pointer. After two minutes Dusan Ivkovic decided to play with two centers: Tarlac and Alexander. But never mind the first quarter was finished by 20-25.

In the rest Ivkovic put Panov and Papaloukas to the court. In minute and 10 second Martin Mursepp get 10-points advantage to his team: 20-30. The head coach of CSKA took time-out. In the middle of the quarter he put to the court Alexey Savrasenko. Only with his appearance our team become to recover. In the end CSKA get leadership but on last seconds Anstey scored 3-pointer with the buzzer: 50-50.

After the big rest Sergey Monya appeared on the parquet. But things did not change. In this quarter neither CSKA non UNICS could run away for more than 5 points. In the end we were losing 3 points but brilliant Marcus Brown scored 2 free throws and made advantage minimal: 67-68.

In first 2,5 minutes of the decisive quarter none team could score any points. After fifth foul of Zozulin Stanislav Eremin took time-out. After minute rest army team made long waiting spurt, they scored 8 points in a row. Taking initiative army team begun to use zone defense. It was the key moment of the game. After it UNICS could not recover. CSKA won the first game of the final series and now leads 1-0.

The head coach of CSKA Dusan Ivkovic:

- First game of final series is always difficult. I think that my team deserved this victory. One of the reason is that we had not plays for 8 days. After good games against Dynamo we lost rhythm of play-off competition. On other hand I respect Kazan team very much. In the first half UNICS had good control of the game. In the first quarter we let them to score many easy points because of our bad defense. In the second half our game was more balanced. Our return to zone defense was important moment of the last quarter. I think that tomorrow game will be tough but different than today.

The head coach of UNICS Stanislav Eremin:

- The most part of the game we play not better then CSKA. I think that the reason of our errors was our defense. I can not agree with all fouls, especially on Brown. But he is experienced player who used his moments. I am not satisfied with the play of our shooting guards. We were worse on 2 and 3 positions today. We need to fight on equal under board to defeat CSKA.

Theodoros Papaloukas (photo T.Makeeva)
Marcus Brown (photo M.Serbin)
Dragan Tarlac (photo T.Makeeva)
Holden vs Samoilenko (photo T. Makeeva)
Panov vs Muursepp (photo T.Makeeva)
 Khryapa vs  Khryapa  (photo T.Makeeva)
Viktor Zinchuk (photo cskabasket.com)
Alexey Savrasenko (photo T.Makeeva)
Mirsad Turkcan (photo T. Makeeva)
CSKA Dance Team (photo T. Makeeva)